Diary of a Postgrad Student – Week 1 done

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Practicum? Sorted! Signed up and started.

Dissertation? Rejections from 4 supervisors so far. Still waiting on a response from my preferred supervisor.

Ok well it’s technically week 2 on the timetable, but it’s week 1 of ‘normal’ lectures. Don’t worry about keeping up. I’m confused as hell!

What is not as confusing is the lectures. It has been a pleasure to start actually learning stuff, rather than feeling like I’m expected to know everything already.

I am reminded of a diagram I used often in business and still sometimes use with clients – the stages of competence. Last week I took a leap up to the first step of Conscious Incompetence (I began to know what I didn’t know). It actually felt more like a plummet to be honest, but it was actually a step forward.

This week I started filling in the gaps.

We got a schedule through of the assignments and due dates, and there is a slightly intimidating 11,000 words worth of assessments to be completed before December. However, I have written 2 books, each of around 80,000 words so I should be ok.

I also went to the library. We have a group presentation to prepare for in a couple of weeks so we headed to the library to get some Google Slides set up and get the outline of the content sorted. I did find myself wondering where all the books were though. I asked my course mates and they pointed out that we had only gone on the first floor and the books were on the next floor up. So I still need to overcome that hurdle. But one step at a time. Google Slides works really well by the way. We’re all set up and can contribute. I’ve got my slides done already. I can’t tell you how many presentations I’ve had to write and deliver in my life so far! That was a bit of a confidence boost though.

We have another group presentation to prepare for in another module but we have a bit longer on that one.

The discussion of two papers in one of the lectures showed that I had a decent grasp of the core elements, even though we haven’t covered them yet. So that was also reassuring.

Of course the big news is that I have a Practicum. Yay! Along with my dissertation, this is a core part of my course. I am doing it under the supervision of Roger Van Gompel and I will start pretty much straight away. So if I can just sort a supervisor out I will be on track.

So far time management is working out ok. I am seeing clients in the evenings and all day Saturday, and then keeping Sunday free to do stuff with my daughter. Ask me again in a few months and you may get a very different answer though!

Written by: Dawn Walton

Hi, my name is Dawn Walton and I am a 44 year old therapist that lives in the Dundee area. I’m originally from Anglesey in North Wales, but I’ve lived here for 17 years. My first degree was in Computing at UMIST in Manchester. Now I’m studying a Masters in Psychological Research Methods with the aim of going on to do a Phd.


I love Starbucks and Pokemon Go. So they are likely to feature in my posts quite often!


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